Colombo (News1st) - Former Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab and two other former Ministers have been charged with ‘homicide with probable intent’ for the massive explosion in the port of Beirut which killed 218 people in 2020, foreign media reported.
The country’s public prosecutor, army chief, the head of the domestic intelligence agency and another intelligence chief were also charged with unspecified charges.
The charges were brought by Judge Tarek Bitar, who was appointed to investigate the tragedy which destroyed a major part of the city centre.
However, the Public Prosecutor’s Office has disputed Judge Bitar’s authority to issue the charges, maintaining that the judge is suspended until the conclusion of legal challenges to his authority brought by various politicians whom he has summoned for questioning. Many of the challenges came from Hezbollah, one of Lebanon’s dominant political parties, many of whose members have been summoned by the judge. But Judge Bitar unexpectedly resumed sittings.
All those charged have denied wrongdoing.
The explosion was caused by hundreds of tonnes of ammonium nitrate that had been stored in a towering warehouse in the port since 2013 in unsafe conditions for seven years.
#Lebanon #Blast #Beirut #2020Blast #News1st